The Little Guide to Attachment Parenting
Here at Little Goat Gruff we know that sometimes finding what works best when caring for your baby is hard and we firmly believe that the best way to understand what’s best for you and your baby is by understanding your little one's wants and needs. There are thousands of books, websites, help groups and methods that parents will scramble through and research to try and find helpful tips on the best techniques and methods to help your baby through various stages of growing up: from night time sleeping to feeding and even the way you teach little ones right from wrong; there is so much information out there! Here at Gruff Towers we love exploring and researching new and original ideas from mummies and daddies across the globe, and this week we want to look into and provide information on a variety of gentler methods that are addressed with the current trend for attachment parenting.
Just a little bit of background information for those of you who are unsure of what exactly this entails. We're sure that most parents want to form as close a bond with their child as possible and attachment parenting reinforces this with the idea that physical contact and trusting your instincts on your baby's behaviour can help with the development of your baby along with the way you bond with your little one. Attachment parenting explores many aspects of caring for your baby including:
- Breastfeeding and weaning
- Clothing and carrying baby
- Positive discipline
- Responding to babies cries
There are many different ideas out there for attachment parenting and these are just a few ideas that we will explore for you. Just a friendly reminder that we at Gruff Towers would never recommend a specific style of parenting and our only goal is to share experiences and discuss different styles, you may feel some of these methods are great to try, but if these aren’t for you we know that you know best when it comes to raising your baby as every little one is different.
We have all heard about the stresses of getting baby to bed and millions of parents across the globe experience the struggle of getting their little one soundly to sleep at night. If this is currently happening to you don't worry, it is normal for baby to cry during the night: maybe baby is hungry, uncomfortable or simply feeling alone & frightened and experiencing separation anxiety. There are hundreds of methods to help you begin to get baby in to a healthy night time routine (and help you get the rest you deserve) including the methods typically seen on TV parenting programmes which advocate baby "crying it out". Whilst this may work for some parents, other parents choose not to leave baby alone to settle and believe that co-sleeping is the solution to a good night's sleep. Whilst a lot of parents have reservations about this, worrying that they could harm their little one, providing you know the facts co-sleeping can work miracles for both you and baby. Research even shows that sleeping with baby can be better for the emotional bond and physical health with both mum and baby well rested and content with a reduction in levels of cortisol (stress hormones) for all concerned. We’ve had a look around the web and the NCT's website: https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/co-sleeping-safely-your-baby has some great safety tips, so that if you are thinking of co-sleeping you can put your mind (and eyes) at rest.
Breastfeeding & Introducing Meals
If you’ve seen our recent blog on the uses of breast milk, you will have read our research into its benefits, if you haven’t give it a quick read and click here. Attachment parenting is often associated with breastfeeding and although it is a celebrated part of being a mother, if you decide not to there are still lots of great attachment parenting methods you can research such as bottle nursing. Attachment parenting however believes that breast feeding not only benefits your baby's health but continues to strengthen that mother baby bond. Attachment parenting also explores ideas about when your baby should begin to eat solid foods with the baby led weaning method. Although when you introduce your baby to solids is up to you, we must say that this method worked great for us. Mothers who follow this style of parenting believe that when baby is ready to eat they will give you signs such as teething, chewing on things & reaching out for food. The idea is when baby can sit up unaided they are safe to try feeding themselves - simply pop the solid foods in front of baby and watch them explore and enjoy, and remember "food is fun until age one!! This might be a bit messy but it worked great for us.
This style of carrying and holding baby is another one that many people link directly with attachment parenting. When you’ve popped down to your local Asda or Tesco you may have seen a few mums carrying baby next to their chest by using a sling or woven wrap. This method is great and while some people worry about the devices not being strong, they are tried and tested to be extra safe. The thinking behind carrying baby close to you is again, to strengthen the bond with baby through skin contact and making them feel safe and nurtured. It also means you have both hands free to get on with things rather than struggling one-handed or leaving baby in a bouncer or cot. We have a great selection of slings on our website, have a look and tell us what you think!
Now this is a hard one for anyone with a child. Knowing how to teach your baby right from wrong is a hot topic between parents, as everyone has different ideas about what works and what doesn’t when giving your baby a good understanding of how they should behave. More old fashioned ways of discipline under recent years have come under fire from experts expressing concerns at these more stern methods of telling off. Attachment parenting suggests that to gain respect from your little one and to get them to form an understanding of behavioral expectations is to teach children through calm yet firm reasoning and leading by example. The idea enforces the notion that there are no bad children, just good and bad behaviours, an idea that we think is just great.
Responding to Baby’s Cry
This is the last little bit we will look at with you today and it’s another hot topic in the parenting world. Do we run to comfort our babies when we hear that monitor go off or do we ‘let them cry it out'? Attachment Parenting methods teach us to listen to our babies cries and understand what they need. Babies learn to rely on us and trust us with their emotions through the use of specific crying, movement and facial expressions. It teaches us to understand that baby is doing this as it needs our help or support and teaches us to calm and soothe baby, therefore creating a closer bond between both parent and child.
We understand this blog is a little bit longer than our usual; we’d love to discuss more ideas with Attachment Parenting but could never possibly explore every idea in turn. We just want to reinforce to you again that all ideas on this blog are up for your own interpretation, we are parents just like you and we are dedicated to sharing and exploring different ideas. We hope to see you in our store soon and thanks for reading!
Here are a few websites we've found helpful:
Farmyard Fun for your Little One
Morning everyone! Yes that’s right you have cleverly guessed from the title that this week’s themed blog post is all about fun trips down to the farm. From soft and cuddly farmyard friends to cute ideas to make you want to go for a visit yourself, this blog will be your guide to all the best things for a farmyard theme for your little one.
Fun idea #1 Make some flash cards, some with animal names, some with pictures & see if your little one can match them up. For younger children why not make some animal noises and see if they can pick the correct card.
Taking your child to the farm is a family favourite for days out and here at Gruff Towers we think it can be used as an essential part of family bonding and providing you play the right games it can even help with child development. Not only do the youngsters get to experience beautiful farmyard animals, but at many locations they even get to feed them. Don’t forget to take your wellies, farms can be muddy and it’s no fun cleaning shoes all night!
Fun idea #2 Describe a farmyard animal to your little one using colours and description and see if they can work out what it is.
We know it’s a busy life and sometimes you can feel snowed under but we are sure that a day trip to the farm could be just what the doctor ordered, with many people suggesting that animals have a calming effect on us, your day trip could be beneficial not just to your toddler, but you as well.
Fun idea #3 Take a picnic on your day trip. Make sure you take extra to feed the ducks but don’t let those pesky goats eat your sandwiches!
If you’re not going to the farm this weekend we can still provide some little pieces of farmyard fun and even have them delivered directly to your door! We’ve hand selected our favourite pieces fitting in with our theme and would love it if you gave them a quick look.
The first thing we would like to show you from our selection is the cutest little sheep gift set containing a pair of stunning leather sheep design soft shoes. Maybe these aren’t ideal for actual visits to the farm due to their light lime green colour and soft leather shoe design; however baby can still have that countryside feel with these little trotters. The gift set also contains a matching footless embroidered babygrow, with its great attention to detail and 100% cotton material this item is perfect for wear both off and on the farm.
Fun idea #4 Grab some face paints and some old clothes and transform your little ones into sheep, cows and pigs for the day. You can even make them their own barn or pigsty out of old cardboard boxes.
Little ones love to feel like they're helping out mum & dad, and with this blue and green Down on The Farm toddlers mini lunch bag they will love to help out and carry their own dinner. This bag has adjustable straps making it easy and comfortable for any little one. The bag itself also has just enough space to store some fruit and snacks, but not that much that it’s too heavy, and features some farmyard favourites such as the cow, the rabbit & the chicken.
Fun idea #5 Get your kids to make a map of the farm as they go around and draw the animals in their correct pens!
The idea of farmyard learning is also a great one and with our match up animal and habitat set of 10 first jigsaws by Djeco, your little one can improve hand eye coordination while learning about the animal world. With some beloved friends such as the bumble bee and the owl, this jigsaw makes learning fun and educational.
Fun idea #7 Use card & white finger paints for your little one to make their very own fingerprint sheep
Our Mengsel collection is also great for our theme this week. The company specialises in high quality organic cotton items and one of our favourite designs happens to be this pink reversible sheep style. This particular style comes in a hat, a reversible cardigan, or a blanket, all appropriate for keeping warm and trendy on those brisk farmyard mornings.
Fun idea #6 use different materials i.e. grass, soil, water in different containers for different habitats and put some toy animals in each to create your own little farm.
Since it is farm week this week we couldn’t really not give you a goat themed item could we, so we’d like to show you our yellow striped garland goat design baby leggings. Not only are these leggings colourful and unique, they’re also affordable at only £3. The stretchy and soft material makes them the perfect outdoor activity item . Perfect for those farm trips.
Thank you for reading our farmyard fun blog, we hope you’ve enjoyed it. Remember we are open to any questions and hope that you enjoy your week. To find farms near you we used this website that helps you find local farms and identify what activities are available to you there, have lots of fun!
Other websites we have looked at:
Tips for baby safety in hot weather!
Our new blog post about the interesting new ways people are using their breast milk!
Although your little ones are definitely too young to remember when the first fishy film came out, we are sure they will love the latest installment of everyone’s favourite underwater friends. The classic clown fish adventure is one of our favourites here at Gruff Towers so we thought we’d get on board the excitement by making our store theme for this week ‘Underwater Baby’.
The question all expecting parents wonder... blue or pink?
We’ve done some research to bring you this list of brilliantly bizarre myths and legends that apparently indicate the gender of your baby which you can try and check at home.We’re sure all you expectant mums have heard many of the classic old wives tales to try and predict if you’re having a prince or princess, these ‘signs’ range from quite interesting, to very silly (well we think anyway).
- The classic are you carrying your baby low or high? Myth has it that if you’re carrying your baby low then the chances are your having a little boy, if its high then you’d better be reaching for the pink ribbon.
- Bumpy skin? Many people believe that if you get acne or just more spots than you’d normally have then you’re having a girl. If you’re skin is flawless and glowing, no you haven’t turned in to Beyoncé, you’re just supposed to be having a boy.
- Old wives tales also tell us that your taste buds are tell-tales when it comes to gender. If you’re craving all things sugary and sweet then you’re having a little girl, but if you just want crisps, dips and all things savoury then you’re more likely to be carrying blue.
- Now go and look in the mirror, if your pupils are dilated it means you’re having a boy. (Okay we agree this one is a little bit unrealistic).
- Another very interesting one, legend has it if you’re able to eat lots of garlic and not smell one bit like it, you’re having a girl, if you’re stinking out the house – it’s a boy. We cannot however be held responsible if you have to take more showers than usual after trying this one!
- One of the most famous and last tale we’ll be sharing is the ring test. Get a friend or partner to take a ring and attach it to a piece of string. Now hang the string in front of your bump, if the ring sways left to right like a pendulum then it’s said to be a boy. If it swings in a circular motion it’s apparently a little girl.
We hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoyed discussing these very interesting methods. Of course if you’re that desperate to know you could always do the easy thing and pop to the hospital on your 20 week scan and find out then, or do it the traditional way and find out on the day, we have some adorable new unisex baby gift sets on sale, just click and see!
As always have a good day and let us know if any of the above were true for you!
Stuck for a baby name, or simply can't agree?
Choosing a name for your new baby is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, and a wrong choice can have future consequences from simple regret, to a lifetime of embarrassment for your child or teasing at school or at work. Hopefully with our top 10 tips we can give you some inspiration as well as highlight any pitfalls before you fall in too deep to climb out!
1. Choose from one of the lists of popular names. If you want to play safe, then this is the way to go. Every year the top 100 baby names are published and these are taken from the Office for National Statistics' record of births in the UK over the whole of the year. For 2015, Mohammed and all its variation spellings was top for boys, with Oliver and Jack a close second and third. For girls Olivia has snuck into first position above Sophia, and Lily remains in 3rd place.
2. Use a baby name website, or even a good old-fashioned book where you can make notes which can be much more user-friendly. If you don't intend to pass the book on you can cross out names you know you don't like or even tear the pages out if you're feeling gung-ho, that way you'll be left with just a handful of pages containing the names on your shortlist.
3. Avoid acronyms. It may be seem obvious but sometimes we don't see these things initially (pardon the pun). Make sure the initials of your baby's name don't spell out anything rude or similar e.g. Poppy Olivia Osbourne!
4. Make up your own name. Fancy something different but not brave enough to go for the Beckhams' choice of "Harper Seven" or crazy enough to choose Kim Kardashian and Kayne West's "North"? We certainly weren't bold enough to call our baby "North West", but instead we came across a quick and simple way to create a unique and lovely name by putting two well-known names together. Hyphenated names are increasingly popular for both boys and girls e.g. Toby-Ted or Lily-Bella. We particularly love this book which allows you to see how different names look and sound together.
5. Think about how friends and family may abbreviate your child's name. You may love the name Florence or Michael, but do you love Flo and Mick as much?
6. How does your chosen name sound when called out loud, and does the name go with your surname? Imagine yourself calling your child across the school playground. Are you going to have a double-barrel surname for your child? Lots of parents do that these days but just make sure it's not too much of a tongue twister.
7. Avoid puns. Whilst you may have the surname Martin and love flashy sports cars, do you really think your child will want to be called Aston? Other puns such as Polly Esther and Hannah Ball may not be so obvious but will no doubt serve as great ammunition for a playground bully in years to come. A good rule of thumb is that if it makes you laugh then it will make all your child's friends and not so friendly acquaintances laugh too.
8. Find out the meaning of your short-listed names. You may want to choose a name that has significance, or cross one off your list that has a meaning that you don't like. Again, baby books and some baby name websites are good for this.
9. Think carefully about the spelling. Whilst it's nice to be different, unique spellings of names mean your child will have a life-time of correcting others, plus it will be tricky finding off-the-shelf personalised items with your child's name on such as mugs, pencils, Christmas stockings etc.
10. And last, but definitely not least, get it right first time! If you decide to change your baby's name you can do so within 12 months of registering the birth however the full copy of the certificate will contain both the original name and the new name for your baby meaning the "mistake" will be there in black and white for eternity.
We wish you all the luck in the world for your new arrival and hope that this blog has been of some help.
In or out? It seems to be the question on every mummy or daddy’s minds at the minute and with the recent decision on the referendum we thought a little light hearted British pride was in order. No one knows what the future will hold but what we do know is that Great Britain is indeed pretty great. Here at Little Goat Gruff we respect everyone’s choices, but one thing we can all agree on is that we have a lot to be proud of for our little country. From our history, to what we stand for now, we are a multicultural hub of exciting and patriotic people, and not to forget extra cute babies.
At Little Goat Gruff we not only thought it was a good idea to show you some of our cool and quirky Union Jack themed baby clothes, but also to show you to some of our high quality toys and accessories that have been made right here by designers and brands in Great Britain.
First off we thought, what better to start with than to show you some stunning Union Jack logo clothes and shoes. One of our personal favourites is our rocker baby ‘Anarchy in the Nursery’ babygrow by cool new brand - Nippaz With Attitude. This little baby grow combines our patriotic pride with hilarious pun on the classic Sex Pistols song ‘Anarchy in the UK’ with slogan - ‘Anarchy in the Nursery’. The baby grow is ribbed for extra comfort and made from the highest quality 100% cotton, with this witty design you and baby will be the talk of the play area.
Here at Gruff Towers we also like to have a little look around to see what other great products we can find. As parents ourselves we are dedicated to finding great products everyone will love. One of our favourite online products was this adorable Union Jack pacifier from website www.Zazzle.co.uk
This cute little dummy matches perfectly with our leather little Union Jack Booties. Not only do these little shoes represent our pride of country with the Union Jack design covering the whole shoe, but these high quality pair were also made right here, therefore supporting our economy and supporting our fashionista’s to give baby an adorable look that everyone will be envious off.
Continuing the theme of ‘made in the UK’ we also wanted to show you how excellent we in England can make unique toys and gifts. At Little Goat Gruff we love to work with little companies who are dedicated to providing the best quality things for baby and parents, this is not limited just to the UK but we think sometimes its extra nice just to see what our country is doing for our marketing and brands. Our little Toddlers sun parasol by Alphabet Nursery in style ABC red & white gingham is the perfect accessory for this summer to keep your little toddler cool & cute on the beach and again has been styled and made in the UK. Another thing we can’t argue with here in Great Britain is everybody loves a cuddly friend and no one makes quite as good companion as our Vintage-style nursery mouse rag doll soft toy by Powell Craft, another beautifully crafted product of Great Britain who will make the perfect companion for your little one.
We’ve recently joined Pinterest also & would love it if you could give us a follow. Through joining we were opened to all of the love our Union Jack receives and thought it was great how many people were supporting the idea of a traditional Great British tea party, just a little idea if you’re stuck for a theme for a party, or just want to do something different with a Sunday afternoon. For more things all babies, cuteness & new exciting themed pins coming all the time follow our user: https://uk.pinterest.com/littlegoatgruff/
Whatever the future holds, Gruff Towers is dedicated to providing great quality products from our special little country and beyond.
See you soon bleaters!
Some of these images are not our own, but we love checking out what other people have to offer and are sure you do as well so we’ll leave you with some of our links for you to explore:
With festivals sweeping the nation, Glastonbury just around the corner, and a variety of different musical weekends taking England and the rest of the world by storm, many parents will be cautious about taking baby with them. Not to worry, taking the little ones along to join in the festival fun couldn’t be easier with our top tips and products, whether it’s having a go on the fairground rides, camping old fashioned style or just rocking out to your favourite live music, we have you covered.
Here’s a little list that we have created from us to you, showing you parents what we think are essential items for a safe and happy festival baby:
We think all mums would agree that one of the greatest concerns when taking baby to a festival or any other live music event really is the volume of the music and the effect which this can have on our little ones ears. Luckily, here at Gruff Towers we stock Baby Banz ear protectors and defenders in green of course, to keep up the outdoorsy, nature theme. The ear defenders are appropriate for any baby over 3 months old meaning that even the littlest of music lovers can join in the fun.
We know you’re not being selfish when you’ve been holding baby all day and you think ‘oh I wish you could just walk already’, the thought of having to lug around a heavy baby carrier or get your shiny new pram stuck in the mud is enough to put even the keenest festival goers off. However, we’ve got this one ready for you as well, the Calin Bleu range of woven wraps in seven different stylish colours enables you to dance the night away, with baby able to join in whilst being safe and close. You can wrap the sling around your upper body numerous ways and be assured that however you choose to wear it, baby will be comfortable.
||Not to sound too pessimistic but I think we all know the chances of getting sun all weekend at a festival are pretty slim; it goes without saying that emergency wellingtons and coats are essential. What people don’t think to take to festivals are umbrellas because, well let’s face it trying to dance, juggle an umbrella and have a good time isn’t easy even without baby too look after. We know while you’re dancing you or baby won’t care particularly if your hair gets a bit wet but just to be extra safe it’s a great idea just to pack a little hat to keep babies head warm. Our range of hats are not just cute but practical as well, our favorites are the Olive & Mosscollection, don’t you think they’re just adorable?
|In Case of Sun
|That being said about the rain, you never know you may strike it gold and have the hottest summer since records begin (if only). But on a serious note we all know how dangerous the sun can be and to little sensitive eyes it can be twice as strong, baby can look cool & cute with our adventure sunglasses also by Baby Banz and not worry about squinting over the weekend.
||Sometime’s when packing it’s easy to forget the most important things, we all do it really, so just a last couple of little suggestions we think could come in handy. It’s the middle of the night and your little one needs changing or looking after, it’s pitch black, you’re falling all over your tent, you can’t find the zip, baby is starting to cry, everything is going wrong, just as you start to panic you remember you packed your Sleepy Owl LED torch light - perfect for middle of the night emergencies. In case of emergency, as rare as it may be, it’s always best to be prepared so we would suggest our most important festival goody is the a portable first aid kit that is great for travel; it’s best to be safe with little ones around and the Ouch Pouch comes with everything from hand sanitiser to insect bite cream making it an all round winner.
We hope this blog post has been useful and if any of you are heading off to a festival, camping for the weekend or going caravaning, we hope you have an amazing time & remind you to cherish your memories with your little ones, happy travelling, see you again soon!
With the summer holidays lingering and the excitement (and occasional dribble) of the English summer just around the corner, you now may be thinking it would be the perfect time to introduce your baby to swimming. Whether a holiday is fast approaching or you’ve just been thinking of getting baby involved in a class there’s no time like the present. Here at Little Goat Gruff we know the fun and thrill that can be involved when you first experience a trip to the pool with your baby, with over 100,000 babies a week now visiting specialist classes and sessions it’s more than worth seeing if you have a little fish.
You may be thinking, is it really worth my baby swimming this young and what are the benefits? Well although swimming is not an essential first skill for a young infant there is lots of benefits and here’s what we think are the most important.
- It promotes water safety for your child
A baby or youngster, who has never experienced being in the water or swimming, is at greater risk when it comes to accidents. All though highly unlikely that anything horrible would happen under your watch, it’s always nice to have that extra piece of mind.
- It can help your baby to advance
The benefits for teaching your baby to swim in terms of development are amazing. Studies show that not only can swimming help your baby with learning and understanding, but the strength that swimming builds in your babies’ muscles can result in crawling and walking at a much younger age.
The Amateur Swimming Association states that swimming can be an aid to help your baby get a better night sleep, although we can still pray for a miracle it’s not necessarily going to make your baby sleep throughout, however the work and practice of swimming can tire your baby just enough to help get those crucial extra hours, for not just the little one but for you as well.
Every single website, statistic, and baby book we looked at repeatedly told us that swimming was one of the best ways to bond with your child. For Dad who may initially find it hard to find opportunities to bond alone with baby or Mum if she just wants some precious more hours, the skin to skin contact strengthens the bond of trust, and the time in the pool gives you undivided attention from your baby.
Despite all the positives we know how much you care and there is a lot of anxiety around taking baby swimming for the first time. Will they like it? Will they be scared? Will they pick it up quickly? With all of these, worries we know that the last thing on your mind needs to be what they will wear and if it’s hygienic. At Little Goat Gruff we used our detective skills to research and compare some of the best quality and designs of children’s nappies.
The Happy Nappy is a product we know and trust made from the brand Splash About, the worldwide leader of the baby swimming market. The Happy Nappies are made of 1mm stretchy neoprene material designed specifically to make sure nothing gets out, leaving you at ease when baby is in the pool. The Happy Nappy range that we stock comes in a giant variety of styles with cute patterns and prints to suit any baby’s personality. The material also helps to keep your baby warm, the rubber and lining of the Nappy insulates the babies core when in the water, keeping them comfortable and happy to start swimming from as young as 6 weeks old! The material is also easily cleaned so there’s no need to spend the extra pennies making the Happy Nappy not just fun but practical as well.
Take a look on our shop and see for yourself we’ve got bundles of Happy Nappies and other fun water products ready, so you can start your water adventure all year round. We’d love to hear from you if our blog was useful so feel free to get in touch!